Turkey election: PM Davutoglu resigns in procedural move

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu Image copyright AFP
Image caption Ahmet Davutoglu became prime minister in August 2014

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has resigned in a procedural move after his AK Party lost its majority in parliamentary elections.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accepted Mr Davutoglu's gesture but asked him to stay in the post until a new government was formed.

Mr Erdogan is now expected to give Mr Davutoglu the difficult task of forming a new coalition government.

Sunday's result dealt a blow to the president's plans to boost his powers.

Political formality

The two men met on Tuesday in the capital, Ankara, to discuss the future of the government after the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party lost its majority in parliament for the first time in 13 years.

It secured 41%, a sharp drop from 2011, and is now likely to try to form a coalition, although no party has yet indicated it is willing to join forces with the AKP.

Accepting Mr Davutoglu's resignation, Mr Erdogan expressed his thanks for the PM's services and asked him to continue to serve until a new government was established, according to a statement on the president's website (in Turkish).

The move is a political formality, and Mr Davutoglu's future remains unclear.

After the official final result is declared, the AK Party will have 45 days to form a new government.

Opposition parties are likely to demand limits on President Erdogan's role.

If no deal is reached on a coalition, a fragile minority government and early elections loom.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption President Erdogan dominated the AK Party's campaign but has hardly been seen since the result

Mr Erdogan had been seeking a two-thirds majority to turn Turkey into a presidential republic, but his Islamist-rooted AK Party fell short.

The pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) upset his ambitions by crossing the 10% threshold, securing seats in parliament for the first time.

Relations tense

In a separate development on Tuesday four people were shot dead when violence erupted in Turkey's mainly Kurdish south-eastern city of Diyarbakir.

Clashes reportedly broke out after the head of a charity linked to a Kurdish Islamist party, Huda Par, was killed.

Correspondents says relations are tense between supporters of Huda Par and the HDP, which condemned the attack.

Three people were killed and scores injured in a bomb attack on a pre-election HDP rally in Diyarbakir last Friday.

It is not clear who was behind either attack.

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